Newsletter - From the Heart Stitchers
Read and/or print Newsletter - October 2015
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Letter from Lois
Recently I was invited, as I was last year, to an annual event for the 9 wards in our local area Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. On a very rainy evening, these ladies traveled from Meadowbrook, Swift Creek, Belmont, Chesterfield, Hopewell, Appomattox, Fort Lee, Wakefield and Lawrenceville to join together to celebrate the culmination of their year long endeavors.
All through the year, since last September, the ladies of these wards have spent many, many hours stitching 12 inch squares to be donated to From the Heart. These are to be stitched into blankets of various sizes, for various uses.
This program began in the spring of 2014 as a way for this church community to reach out to others. We were contacted for advice on just what was most needed and for assistance in teaching knitting and crochet to those who were interested in participating.
In September 2014, Tricia Ennis and I went to the gathering of the 9 wards involved in this program and were completely “blown away” by the outpouring of energy and enthusiasm extended to us by these ladies…and were greeted not only by so many wonderful caring ladies, but by 1,000 twelve inch blanket squares! Now it was obvious that a few may have been the first attempt of a new stitcher in the program; but every square was made with love and concern for someone in need…every square was a part of creating over 125 blankets during the months that followed.
This was such a satisfying cause for the members of those wards. They continued their stitching throughout the year and again, this September, they came together with squares and other items in hand to celebrate their accomplishments. Again, I was notified of the date of the culmination of their year of stitching. Hubby Russ and I traveled the short distance to collect all their projects, talk with the stitchers, explain just how the journey from squares to blankets would take place and thank them profusely for all their dedication to this project. Once again, as we entered the doors to their event room, we were totally amazed at the collection of beautiful squares before us. And this time, such a difference! Not 1,000 but 1,403 squares! And this time, the most beautiful squares ever! It is so obvious that these ladies are enjoying this project and have advanced greatly in their stitching abilities. True, last year we were given lots of well stitched squares along with a few from beginners; but, this year…it is absolutely amazing how far those beginners have come! We have stacks and stacks of perfect, very beautiful 12 inch squares that will fit together very nicely, making it possible for us to create at least 175 or more blankets!
Now you may be asking, “What will From the Heart do with so many blankets?”
Well, let me tell you. We have many requests for blankets that go unanswered each year because of a shortage in the numbers we have coming in to be distributed. Our blankets are donated to at least 6 or more hospice facilities, some of which work solely with our veterans. A large number of our blankets go to cancer centers, as well as several dialysis centers. We supply several locations at McGuire for our veterans. When we have extras we share them with nursing homes. Our largest blankets are given to bone marrow transplant centers and to our area homeless who need extra warmth while spending their nights outside in the elements. Little kid blankets are given to pediatrics emergency rooms, burn units and oncology centers. We are attempting to supply 6 or 7 newborn nurseries as well as NICU nurseries. Each year we supply at least 150 baby blankets through Richmond City and Chesterfield County health departments during their baby showers for uninsured or underinsured families expecting additions to their families. We are involved with supplying baby blankets for our enlisted and deployed military families. And let’s not forget our furry friends…those in pet adoption centers and rescue facilities. There are just never enough blankets to go around; so, even though we have this amazing collection of squares to make into blankets, we will still need your help. Keep those blankets coming!
You see, From the Heart has a vision. We have the thought that, even though we may not have the funding or education of some of the professionals working with the sick and needy, we can still make a difference. We may only be able to help in the smallest of areas; but, these are important areas. The very act of extending our love and caring through ourselves is so important, not just to the recipients, but important to ourselves as well. We can create smiles and an enormous amount of comfort just by using our talents and our stitches. Along with all the yarn that is donated for our use, we can create a brighter life for those to whom we share ourselves.